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With gourmet food trucks still riding high on the popularity wave, there's bound to be at least one lawyer out there asking: Why not set up a mobile law office a la a food truck? After all, it could serve up legal services a la carte.
There's no doubt that some lawyers are attracted by life on the road (in a food truck). Just about every lawyer remembers hearing about Kim Pearlman's famous hot dog stand, "Law Dogs," which served dogs with a side of free legal advice. Clearly, today, we have the technology to take the "Law Dogs" model to the next level, but apart from the question of whether an attorney would actually want to have an office inside a brightly decorated rolling box, one has to wonder: Would it even be ethical? Below, you can read about a few of the many potential ethical issues of lawyering out of a food truck style office.
Generally, most state's ethical requirements mandate that attorneys maintain locations where service can be accomplished. This means that a mobile lawyer truck would need to either have a fixed location (which would defeat the purpose), or have a dedicated brick and mortar office to support the rolling one. However, given the ready availability of virtual offices that can receive and process mail and deliveries, this hoop can be easily jumped through for a fee.
Another ethical issue could involve improper solicitation. For instance, if an injury attorney drove their truck to the scene of an auto accident, or just stopped whenever they saw one, it could be an ethical violation. Additionally, there could be some issues with parking on or near a hospital's campus.
Another potential ethical issue could involve the security of the information contained on the truck, as well as the communications that happen inside the truck. Although, these are issues that can be mitigated with good sound insulation, cloud computing, and other forms of modern security.
Fortunately, for any lawyer that decides to try this out (which to date, we are unaware of any), if it doesn't work out, they can always change course and start a real food truck like this lawyer in Houston.
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